Couple Served Foreclosure Notice Via Facebook

June 22, 2011

For lenders who can’t find a defaulting home owner, they may turn to Facebook or other social networking sites to track them down. That’s what a lender in Australia did. The lender used Facebook to track the defaulting couple down and send them a foreclosure notice via the social networking site, AOL Real Estate reports.

The lender was unable to find a physical address or e-mail for a couple in Australia who defaulted on their six-figure mortgage. So the lender’s lawyer located them on Facebook, verifying the couple’s identities by matching up names, birthdates, and the fact that they “friended” one another.

Australian courts recently upheld the lender’s right to use Facebook to send foreclosure notices. The court ruled that the couple didn’t have any privacy protections on their Facebook accounts and were frequent visitors so it served as a reasonable way to send a notice.

While industry experts say they haven’t heard of lenders sending foreclosure notices via social networking sites in the United States, “it’s bound to happen,” Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, told AOL Real Estate. "The real concern the courts have is whether it's a fair notice that the person actually receives."

As long as it’s obvious the person is a frequent user of the site, legal experts say the ability to serve foreclosure documents via social network sites seems like a justifiable way to send a foreclosure notice.

Source: “Your Facebook Status: Foreclosed,”AOL Real Estate (June 17, 2011)